Larry Flynt considering Fourth Street site in Louisville for adult retail store

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from www.courier-journal.com – Pornography magnate Larry Flynt, a native Kentuckian, came to Louisville in early October to consider opening one of his adult retail stores, Hollywood Hustler, on South Fourth Street.

City officials are trying to develop the 500 and 600 blocks of Fourth Street between Broadway and 4th Street Live as a thriving retail, restaurant and entertainment corridor. But an adult-oriented business is not what the city has in mind for the area, said Alan DeLisle, the Louisville Downtown Development Corp. executive director.

“That’s not the kind of business we are looking for,” said DeLisle, whose agency is spearheading the effort to build up Fourth Street.

The parent company of Flynt’s vast adult-business empire released a statement Friday acknowledging that Louisville is “on our radar” as a location for a Hollywood Hustler store.

Fernando Trevino, a Louisville real estate agent, said Friday that he was contacted several weeks ago by a Cincinnati agent who wanted to come to Louisville and look at some downtown commercial property. He said he arranged to meet the man and that, when he came, he was shocked when Flynt showed up with him. Trevino declined to provide contact information on Flynt’s Cincinnati representative.

Trevino said Flynt scoped out Fourth Street property, adding that he felt that it “would be best not to disclose exactly” which sites he surveyed. Trevino said that, although Flynt didn’t name Hollywood Hustler, Flynt told him that he was looking for a site for a retail store similar to his one he has in Lexington that would offer “clothing and accessories.”

Trevino said that Flynt and his agent left town the same day and that he has not heard from either one since. Trevino said the Louisville property owner he represents didn’t want his name raised “in any way” in connection with Flynt, and that his client “was not comfortable” that Flynt had checked out his property.

Trevino said he would be surprised if hears from Flynt, adding that “I don’t think anything is going to happen.”

“ Louisville is on our radar, and we are sure that our fellow Kentuckians there would welcome our beautiful store,” Flynt’s daughter, Theresa Flynt, executive vice president of Flynt Management Group, said in a prepared statement.

DeLisle said Louisville Downtown Development Corp., which is partly funded by city government, had no knowledge of Flynt’s interest in Fourth Street and was not aware that he had visited. And he added that an adult-oriented store “is not the kind of business we are looking for. The merchandising plan recommended we not go in that direction.”

Chris Poynter, spokesman for Mayor Greg Fischer, who has been a strong supporter of upgrading Fourth Street, declined to comment on Flynt’s interest.

The Hollywood Hustler website lists 14 stores, including Cincinnati, Nashville and suburban St. Louis. The stores are promoted as offering sex toys, adult DVDs, lingerie, bath and body products.

Flynt was born in Lakeville in Magoffin County and is the president of Larry Flynt Publications and the founder of Hustler magazine. Flynt has fought several well-publicized First Amendment legal battles, some of which were portrayed in the 1996 film “The People vs. Larry Flynt.” He is paralyzed from the waist down, due to injuries he received in a 1978 assassination attempt.

Flynt has been married five times and currently lives in Hollywood Hills, Calif. As recently as last Sept. 7 he made news when he offered a $1 million reward for information on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s unreleased tax returns.

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